He is 76, she is 55. This relationship with “Janja”, as this longtime member of the Workers’ Party (PT) is nicknamed, is a makeover for the icon of the left. Lula had been very affected by the death in 2017 of Marisa Leticia, his wife for more than 30 years, with whom he had four children.
He had also lost his first wife, Maria de Lourdes, struck down by hepatitis in 1971.
“When you lose your wife, you think that life no longer has meaning, that everything is over, then another person appears to give meaning,” Luis Inacio Lula da Silva told the magazine in a recent interview. American Time.
“We are going to get married quietly and I will campaign happily,” added the former trade unionist, who held the supreme office from 2003 to 2010 and will try to return to power in an election that promises to be stormy against the president of extreme right Jair Bolsonaro.
Born in Sao Paulo, “Janja” graduated in sociology from the University of Parana, in Curitiba (south), where she worked for nearly 20 years in the public energy company Itaipu Binacional, which manages the dam of Itaipu, one of the largest in the world.
She joined the PT in 1983, co-founded two years earlier by Lula.
– A kiss on leaving prison –
According to Brazilian media, they have known each other for several decades, but the press service of the ex-president assures that their romantic relationship only began at the end of 2017, during an event with left-wing artists, including the musician Chico Buarque.
But this romance between this very smiling woman with brown hair and the old lion of politics only came to light in May 2019, when Lula had been imprisoned for more than a year for corruption.
“Lula is in love and the first thing he will want to do when he gets out of prison is to get married,” announced one of his lawyers who had just visited him.
The wedding will finally take place only two and a half years after his release, an evening ceremony with 200 guests in Sao Paulo, the details of which have been kept secret.
During her incarceration, “Janja” published many distraught tweets between two visits: “I just want to be able to hug you and hug you nonstop”, she had for example written on the day of Lula’s 74th birthday.
In November 2019, shortly after his release, they exchanged a kiss in front of the crowd gathered around the Curitiba prison where the ex-president had just spent 18 months.
“I want to introduce you to someone I’ve already spoken about, but some don’t know: my future companion,” said Lula, visibly moved.
– Committed feminist –
Since the former president became eligible again after his convictions were overturned by the Supreme Court in early 2021, “Janja” has accompanied him on numerous trips, including abroad, to Mexico and in Europe.
She was one of the stars of her campaign launch on May 7. Just before the ex-president’s speech, “Janja” offered him his “wedding gift”: the projection of the clip of the new version of the song which had marked his first presidential campaign, in 1989.
A version performed by stars of the new Brazilian scene, such as drag queen Pabblo Vittar or singer Duda Beat.
Lula gave hints about the role that “Janja” could play as First Lady in food security programs in a country where hunger has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although she is active in Lula’s social media campaign, Rosangela da Silva is tight-lipped about her private life. According to Veja magazine, she has been married for more than ten years and has no children.
“She’s very committed and very feminist,” Lula revealed in September, during an interview with rapper Mano Brown’s podcast.